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It's here! 4A50 for Z26!


supercat

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I've finally figured out how to get Z26 to compile, and implemented my own set of banking routines for 4A50 support. This version may be used to run the Ruby Runner WIP binaries I've posted in earlier entries. It is based on the Z26v213.tar distribution; the source code for all modified files is included.

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Thanks for posting this - I have been eagerly waiting to play Ruby Runner for real. The patch works fine with linux, though there probably isn't any reason why it shouldn't :evil: Your Ruby Runner game looks great - it seems to be possible to have a huge number of moving objects on the screen without any slowdown! I do have a few minor comments, though I appreciate that it is a WIP:

  1. I don't like the way that the screen scrolls when the man is close to the edge. The problem is that it is hard to see what is ahead. Also, because the screen scrolls by only 1 square at a time, the man is continually moving backwards and forwards. I think I would prefer either of the following:

    1. Keep the man in the center at all times and just scroll the background around him (Repton uses this technique).
    2. Scroll the screen by several squares at a time, e.g. when you get 1 square away from the border the screen scrolls until you are 1 square away from the opposite border.

[*] I think it would be good if a ruby was automatically collected when it fell on your head.

[*] There is a small bug when a monster is obliterated at the bottom of the screen. The border starts to flash and doesn't stop.

[*] I think that I saw a situation where a ruby was on top of boulder and was moving right to fall. However, the boulder dropped down and the ruby moved back to the left again on the same line before falling. I haven't seen this again though, so I could be mistaken.

Anyway, this game is coming along great and it seems to be close to completion already! I hope that this will get a cart release eventually.

 

A level contest might be fun, perhaps. I could probably get 64 levels on the cart, but I wouldn't want to have to buy a free cart for everyone who submitted a level that got used.

 

I think a level design contest would be a great idea as it is going to be a lot of work for you to generate a large number of challenging levels. I don't think anyone would necessarily expect a free cart for submitting a level - you could just include a list of the winners in the manual instead. I would certainly be happy to design a few levels without any special consideration.

 

Chris

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Thanks, John. I also have been wanting to play your Ruby Runner binaries. :evil:

 

Also, I agree with Chris about the scrolling. Pretty jerky and hard on the eyes.

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Would 4A50 eventually work with a Krokodile Cart, say through a firmware update?

No, the logic chip is a 5V part which causes trouble with the magic ram writing. In addition there is no more free space on the logic chip ...

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I don't like the way that the screen scrolls when the man is close to the edge. The problem is that it is hard to see what is ahead. Also, because the screen scrolls by only 1 square at a time, the man is continually moving backwards and forwards.

 

It's not great, I know. Unfortunately, two-pixel horizontal scrolling would be, so far as I know, impossible. Four-pixel scrolling might be possible, but I don't think it would look good. The way things are set up, scrolling pretty much has to occur on gametick boundaries (one gametick is four animation steps), so if I "scrolled" in larger increments it would have to be a jump-scroll. Might look better, but would probably be more confusing.

 

I can post some different variations on the scrolling and see what people think works best.

 

I think it would be good if a ruby was automatically collected when it fell on your head.

 

You're supposed to get out of the way of falling rubies. I just don't have the death logic in yet. :evil:

 

[*] There is a small bug when a monster is obliterated at the bottom of the screen. The border starts to flash and doesn't stop.

 

The action scanner doesn't run on the top and bottom rows, which should be solid walls. The explosions shouldn't be able to blast through them, but I don't have the "explodable" item table implemented yet.

 

I think that I saw a situation where a ruby was on top of boulder and was moving right to fall. However, the boulder dropped down and the ruby moved back to the left again on the same line before falling. I haven't seen this again though, so I could be mistaken.

 

One of my earlier WIP versions would do that a lot. Thought I fixed it. I'm planning on redoing the game-mechanics engine once I finish planning out how everything should work; the engine that's in there now isn't completely horrible, but I threw it together as a feasability test (conclusion: the game is feasible) and certain aspects would get unworkable if I kept adding more types of monsters and things. Not a limitation of CPU horsepower, but brain horsepower to keep track of everything.

 

Anyway, this game is coming along great and it seems to be close to completion already! I hope that this will get a cart release eventually.

 

It does look that way, doesn't it. Unfortunately, there are quite a few things left to do. I'm hoping for this to be the debut 4A50 game. I really need to set aside the 2600 stuff for awhile soon and do some other more important things (find a new wife, for instance) but hopefully I can pass the torch so others can keep on with developing 4A50 games. I certainly think it opens up new possibilities for the 2600.

 

I think a level design contest would be a great idea as it is going to be a lot of work for you to generate a large number of challenging levels. I don't think anyone would necessarily expect a free cart for submitting a level - you could just include a list of the winners in the manual instead. I would certainly be happy to design a few levels without any special consideration.

 

We'll see how everything plays out. First I have to figure out the play mechanics in somewhat more detail. The game is obviously reminiscent of a certain First Star Software title, but I'm trying to make it my own.

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The game is obviously reminiscent of a certain First Star Software title, but I'm trying to make it my own.

You should call it notnotBD...

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Blood clots can cause sudden unexpected death.

 

Did she take the anti-baby-pill for many years? Possibly combined with smoking?

This seems to be an incredibly dangerous mixture for women :evil:

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It's not great, I know. Unfortunately, two-pixel horizontal scrolling would be, so far as I know, impossible. Four-pixel scrolling might be possible, but I don't think it would look good. The way things are set up, scrolling pretty much has to occur on gametick boundaries (one gametick is four animation steps), so if I "scrolled" in larger increments it would have to be a jump-scroll. Might look better, but would probably be more confusing.

 

I don't think the scrolling needs to be quicker necessarily, just that it should scroll further each time, e.g. like Thrust+. However, my own preference would be for keeping the man stationary at the center and scrolling the map around.

 

It does look that way, doesn't it. Unfortunately, there are quite a few things left to do. I'm hoping for this to be the debut 4A50 game. I really need to set aside the 2600 stuff for awhile soon and do some other more important things (find a new wife, for instance) but hopefully I can pass the torch so others can keep on with developing 4A50 games. I certainly think it opens up new possibilities for the 2600.

 

I really hope that you finish this game as it is looking great - I was really hoping that NotBD would be released but this looks even better. Nonetheless, I fully appreciate that other things in life are much more important.

 

We'll see how everything plays out. First I have to figure out the play mechanics in somewhat more detail. The game is obviously reminiscent of a certain First Star Software title, but I'm trying to make it my own.

 

I think it should be possible to make it different enough. In any case, there are a lot of different games that could be done with the engine that you have produced.

 

Chris

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I don't think the scrolling needs to be quicker necessarily, just that it should scroll further each time, e.g. like Thrust+. However, my own preference would be for keeping the man stationary at the center and scrolling the map around.

A Thrust-like scrolling would allow further looking ahead the direction you are moving, thus virtually giving the player a slightly larger screen.

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find a new wife, for instance
Did you break the old one? :evil:

 

mark3d.gif

Blood clots can cause sudden unexpected death.

Dude, I am so sorry. I had no idea. ;)

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Dude, I am so sorry. I had no idea. :evil:

 

I'm not offended. Actually, a little levity at times such as this is appreciated.

 

I am reminded of an email list I was on where one member (not a moderator) always took it upon himself to chide others for off-topic posting. When my wife died, I posted a message to the list and was, within hours, chided by this person for the off-topic post. The real list moderator chastised this person very severely, but I responded that I was not at all offended by his whine about my post being off-topic; indeed, when I had made my original post about my wife's death, I was wondering how long it would take for this guy to complain about it. ;)

 

Dawn was a great sweetie. Too bad she never got to see any of my 2600 programming (my first attempts were more than three years before I met her, and the later attempts more than six years after she died).

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